phx-ins-bw-shrink-INSIDE.jpg
FOUR WAYS TO GET INSURED
Can't take the stress? Policymakers and health insurers alike would rather have everyone be insured — that, in fact, was a key principle of Massachusetts' health reform two years ago. And there are multiple options, each with its limitations.

For families, RIte Care, the state Medicaid program, is the most affordable option, but while children qualify, up to 250 percent of the federal poverty line (pregnant women up to 350 percent), for parents it's only up to 185 percent, and more limitations may be ahead.

In addition, the smaller RIte Share program helps lower-income workers who would otherwise qualify for RIte Care to pay for employer coverage. Learn more at dhs.ri.gov.

To buy your own insurance, the only option is Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, which covers about 14,000 individuals. To qualify, you can't be eligible for RIte Care or employer coverage. Rates can be much lower if you pass a health screening, and there are several plan choices; there are also subsidies available; go to bcbsri.com.

Business owners can also get coverage in the group market, even if it's just for one person; contact a benefits broker for price quotes.

The National Association for the Self-Employed offers cheaper, more limited plans, but be warned: This is not comprehensive coverage, and the insurer involved, HealthMarkets Inc., was fined $20 million earlier this year for deceptive practices and is now being subjected to tight scrutiny by state officials across the country. To learn more, go to nase.org.

Last, but not least, consider moving to Massachusetts. Along with mandating that all individuals get health coverage, the state has made big efforts to make insurance more affordable, expanding its Medicaid program, offering subsidies, and creating new plans targeted to young adults. The Commonwealth Connector makes it easy to sort through all the options; go to mahealthconnector.org.

Marion Davis can be reached atmsdavis@live.com.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  | 
Related: Cause for pause, Primary care doctors could be harder to find in RI, Hot ticket, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Health and Fitness, Medicine, Mental Health,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MARION DAVIS
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SAVOR THESE URBAN (AND SUBURBAN) OASES  |  September 27, 2011
    It's not a huge state, but Rhode Island, you may be realizing, is abuzz with activity. There's music, poetry, theater, gallery shows, social gatherings, and all sorts of events at the colleges.
  •   REWRITING THE HISTORY OF CAPITALISM  |  March 30, 2011
    Brown University president Ruth Simmons has made it hard to ignore the school's ties to slavery — and by extension, the ties of well-known Providence families.
  •   GREENING THE KNOWLEDGE DISTRICT  |  March 09, 2011
    Christopher Bull is on the engineering faculty at Brown University, but what he teaches is a vision. “We all bear some responsibility in the direction the world goes,” he says, “and we need to accept that responsibility and act on it.”
  •   CATAPULTER WANTS YOU TO TRAVEL SMARTER  |  February 23, 2011
    You’re headed to New York and you need to keep the trip as cheap as possible, but also want WiFi, so you can work. Or perhaps you’re due in Boston’s Back Bay area, ASAP, and you need the ride to be quick and direct, even if it costs a little extra.
  •   AT RISD: 2X4S, TAPE, AND 'CO-HABITATION'  |  February 09, 2011
    In photographs, it looks like a giant spider web. But up close, it's shiny and transparent under the golden light. It's big enough for a person to climb into and crawl through — or you can poke your head in from a hole underneath or on the sides.

 See all articles by: MARION DAVIS